Things I’ve Done: Finally Cancelled My ‘World of Warcraft’ Account (And Had Fun Doing So)

Alas, “World of Warcraft,” I did not know you well.

I just canceled my account on Sunday. And it sure didn’t go as I expected — which is a good thing.

I subscribed to Blizzard’s ridiculously popular nine-million-subscriber game some time in 2005, I think.

I could look up the exact month when I started, but, really, I don’t want to know. I don’t want to know how many months I let $16.25 or so pour from my bank account for a game that I hadn’t played in… how long?

Let’s see. When I finally canceled my “WoW” subscription this past Sunday, I checked to see which version of the game I had installed on my home computer. That would be version 1.12.1, circa September 19, 2006. That was the date, roughly, when I last brought my Level 12 Tauren druid into the game, the last time I got any bang for my buck. That is not the way to manage your finances, folks. I needed to finally take a step to improve my fiscal future.

I’m writing this post not to trash “World of Warcraft” (how could I judge a game I’ve neglected for over a year?), not to castigate those of us who foolishly pay for things we’re not using (though I think I did), but to praise Blizzard for the easy — and kind of enjoyable — process of canceling one’s “WoW” account.

Yes, you read me right. Canceling a “WoW” account is somewhat entertaining.

First of all, they make it easy. Just log on to your account page and scroll down to the bottom. There you find a green orc head and a link for canceling the account. Two web pages later the process is complete without a phone call or e-mail required.

They make it quick. You merely need to answer a few questions about why you’re canceling (using some drop-down menus — so no typing is needed to slow you down), then click a confirmation link, and you’re free and clear. It took less time for me to cancel my account than to uninstall “Crysis” on my underpowered home PC, that’s for sure.

They’re nice about it. Blizzard’s final webpage notice to me stated:

“Thank you for playing World of Warcraft, and we hope you enjoyed your stay in Azeroth. All credit card information has been removed from the account [*my account name*] as of November 25, 2007 1:04 PM PST, so no further billing will be processed on this account unless payment information is manually re-entered. Your account will remain accessible for play until December 1, 2007 3:50 AM PST, when the remaining pre-paid time expires.
Keep in mind that your account and characters are retained indefinitely in case you decide to return. To re-subscribe to World of Warcraft, simply select the “Setup Subscription” button under the Billing Information section on the main Account Management page. You will then be able to enter new payment information and immediately continue your adventures.”

They even have a sense of humor about the whole thing. The two cancellation pages are decorated with animated sprites of orcs looking sad and some “World of Warcraft” character falling to his knees, pleading/sobbing for the departing gamer to stay.

They unintentionally make canceling “WoW” a game unto itself. They make you say why you’re canceling and give you all kinds of interesting options. Should you select lack of off-line play? Cite a language barrier? Choose the “my friends left” option? I said I didn’t have time to play — which I guess is true.

It’s only fair that I, a gamer who gets most of his games for free because of my job, spent the last two years regularly paying for a game I didn’t play. But no more. I’ve cut off Blizzard’s free ride. And, hey, I still pay for games I import and for PSN games.

Thanks, Blizzard, for making life a little bit easier. I enjoyed canceling your game, and that makes it just a bit more likely that someday I’ll try you again.

(Recent thing I’ve also done: Felt Weird After Finishing A Game)